In the Media, a desk job is considered dull, for the lazy, unambitious or those not good enough to run around – hmmm…, let me leave that dispute for another day.
Now being a desk person, am limited to organize for the crews, sounds boring right? But somehow I am struggling to hold in the excitement within me. It’s 2017! Election year! And everyone is already engrossed in campaign activities . The streets have become rainbows; with colorful posters of aspirants plastered all over. And all you can hear when walking in town are political howls from the young “idle” minds who have probably been enticed by campaign managers.
This same agitation flashes me back to the time the former President of The united States was coming to Africa.
This was my experience then…
“I hear some people say, So Obama is coming to Africa what’s the big deal? My jaw drops in disbelief, especially when this comes from a media person. It takes me down memory lane to September 21st, when the famous Westgate Mall attack took place, claiming hundreds of lives. I remember at that time there was an air of the same feeling going around. There was excitement for some covering this earth-shattering headline story, and “what the heck” from others, seeing that terror attacks happen right left and centre. I must confess I was one of those who felt that way, Until the Chibok girls’ kidnapping and I wondered why this was not taken seriously by everyone on the earth! Including watchmen and Malala, the Pakistani female activist was not loud enough I felt.
The lecture that we got from one man still sounds like yesterday’s news in my mind. He said great journalists would be dying to cover such news whether it’s a threat to their lives or not. He added that you can only get one chance to cover worldwide news, when lady luck smiles at you and the news happen to be at your door step, you grab this once in a life time opportunity by the horns, even though I know I wouldn’t win an Oscars or even Maama’s Award but the producer perhaps will… but I’m sure they’d never give me credit for kicking ass and making calls and ensuring they get transport and equipment exclusively for the coverage. So you see why failing to cover such a story is a big deal? And why my boss will not be impressed if we don’t cover?
Now back to Obama, as I attempt to get the numerous accreditation from Statehouse, US Embassy Nairobi, Statehouse Kenya, please note there are different accreditation for everywhere this world’s leader would set his foot. It reminded me of tales from my colleagues of the numerous permissions one has to seek when filming in Sudan and South Sudan.
I couldn’t seem to stop my mind from playing out scenarios of how I would handle myself supposing I was the one on the field. Suppose I had a mic on my hand and got close enough to shoot a question, my imagination tells me it would be something as off as ‘President Obama what are you looking for in Africa?’ I imagine this would go against the chorus that everyone seems to be singing, ‘What does President Obama have for Africa?’ Which gives the ‘Serikali Saidia’ tune (asking for help from the government).
Focus… back to the story
Okay, as I book shoots for our crews, prepare the assignment schedule, try to stay on top of news, not forgetting the a thousand and one phone calls and transport logistics for the numerous crews yet at the same time still have people on standby in case plans change.
But when the daydreaming is over, I am happy that my job has ended when others have just begun. I get back to my desk job that few care about, many misunderstand, misuse and underuse, and get back to being excited about standing in the voting line again. hmm… (Sigh), can’t wait.